Arnold Wachacha, an EBCI tribal member and a 1966 graduate of Robbinsville High School, was one of three athletes who was inducted into the Graham County Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 1. He excelled in football and basketball, playing at the varsity level all four years of his high school career.
“It is always nice to be recognized for one’s achievements, but it is nice to join other EBCI tribal members who have already been inducted into the Graham County Hall of Fame: Lou Jackson, Shirley Oswalt and their brother William Jackson,” said Wachacha. “I feel honored to join, not only the other Graham County recipients, but to also join fellow tribal members in being selected for my athletic achievements in my younger days.”
“I encourage all young people to use all their talents to the best of abilities – where that be sports, academics, the arts or music.”
Wachacha was a member of the 1965 Smoky Mountain Conference championship team. He received several prestigious awards: First Team All-Conference 1965-66; Asheville Citizen Times Player of the Year 1965; “R” Club Sportsman Award 1966; and he was selected to the 1966 North Carolina East-West Game. He also excelled in the classroom, earning First Team All-Western-North Carolina Scholastic honors in 1965-66.
Wachacha, a fluent Cherokee speaker, resides in Cherokee with his wife Mary of 37 years. They have three sons and one daughter. They are blessed with four grandchildren with the fifth on the way.
– Graham County Hall of Fame